Extension Wildlife & Fisheries Specialists Conferences


Date of this Version



Published in W. Daniel Edge, ed. Proceedings of the 8th National Extension Wildlife and Fisheries Specialists Workshop: Educational Challenges for the 21st Century. [1996] Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State University, 1998.


In extension, we educate people to improve their lives. In natural resources extension, we educate people to improve life. Resolving issues often does this. In natural resources extension we also resolve issues to educate people.
As educators we steer clear of some issues to avoid the hazards. We may refrain from choosing sides. When we choose sides, we often tarnish the perceived objectivity of our University. Yet issues provide the need for knowledge, the teachable moments, and the set and focus that translates knowledge exposure into learning. When issues involve common resources, shared or conflicting interests, complications from complex or partially understood biology and ecology, significant economic ramifications, and intense emotions, the opportunity for education increases or decreases depending on the means chosen for issue resolution.